Forest Visit

This summer, we’ve been craving time with friends. As a result, our weekends are full of travelling and we’ve been spending less time in the forest then last summer. Finally last weekend, Esker and I got out for a good forest visit.

untitled (5 of 6)Viper’s Bugloss – not native, (and maybe invasive?), but really pretty.

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St. John’s Wort is out in full force this year! Such a wonderful healing herb. Collect the flowers and buds, make an oil infusion, and then a salve. Great skin healing properties.

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We collected a birthday bouquet for the lovely Katherine.

untitled (1 of 6)I dried the medicinal plants I found in Ikea sock holders. You can find these for 99 cents at any second hand shop.

 

Nettle

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Nettle tea sweetened with molasses is a gentle way to increase iron levels for those with low iron like myself.

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Don’t harvest nettle leaves after they have flowered though. Old leaves develop “cysoliths” that can irritate the urinary tract if ingested (thanks Beverley Gray).

First spring ephemerals

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Firrrst. Coltsfoot is always first around here.

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Vi-ol-ets. I’ve made jelly with them, and to be honest, it tasted like…sugar. I’ve also made a drink syrup with them – also tasted like sugar. I think this year, we’ll pick some for salad and call it a day. Or you could always do THIS with them if you want to go really crazy.

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Bloodroot. Lots more than last year, but not enough to harvest. Yet.

Building my medicine chest

Still loving learning about healing with plants. I’m going to use the st.john’s wort infused oil in a healing salve with comfrey and calendula infused oil, and the yarrow tincture is a versatile herb that can do wonders for circulatory issues. We shall see if it works for me.

My favourite foraging basket.

My favourite foraging sister, Emily.

Sleepy Tea

Sleepy Tea recipe here for restless little ones who cannot settle down before the sun does. Really beautiful and useful post on a blog that is new to me, but I can tell will be a favourite. I love the idea of giving wee ones herbal tea. Looking forward to trying this one on our restless little adventurer this evening.

I love Lupines

Lupins aren’t native, but they grow wild in a field behind my house and I am in love with them.

Wiki knows a lot about Lupines, including: you can eat the peas that appear after the flower! Also, they are good companion plants for cucumber, squash, spinach and broccoli. HeyOO.

They are pretty much woodland fairies to me. I can’t get enough of Lupines.

So purdy.

Garlic Mustardo

Garlic Mustard Pesto

It certainly needs salt and parmesan and perhaps hot sauce if you’re so inclined, but it’s pretty good! Just use it like you would any green in a pesto. Deelish.

Get it OUTTA HERE!

I used the newer leaves closer to the top near the flower, and only the 2nd year growth (shown above). I didn’t use the flowers or stalks, although you can. It was all over my yard (it’s all over all y’all yards), and it’s easy to harvest. An edible green that is readily available when no other green is. And you can freeze it like you would basil, just to have in the winter.

Processing prt. 1

Processing prt. 2

Baby approved.

 

Little Cottage

My favourite place to walk from my house is through the woods to a cottage just south of us. I consider myself the unofficial steward of the property because the owner is rarely there. I tell myself I’m just making sure everything is in order.

It is surrounded by overgrown forsythia, bulb flowers growing up through the grass and what look like ancient apples trees. AND there is also a decrepit, overgrown old tennis court – so strange and a bit creepy. Very Grey Gardens.

 

I have also found a great big high-bush cranberry shrub and big patches of nettle – gold. I think I’ll probably have to leave a note or something if I ever end up harvesting anything. Or maybe dropping by when the shutters are open:)

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis)

On my way home from this visit I found some Bloodroot!!! I’ve heard it can be a great natural dye. There were only a few on the path I took home, so not suitable for harvesting. But, it sure was fun to identify – golly gee.